Three Roscommon hurlers honoured

Three Roscommon players have been honoured by being chosen on the Nicky Rackard All-Star fifteen for 2007. Mervyn Connaughton, Liam Murray and Michael Kelly have all been chosen on the team and the awards will be presented on next Saturday night at a function in Dublin.   The fifteen players selected are not chosen by position and players received nominations at the end of each game from officials in attendance.    The Awards will be presented to the winners at a special ceremony in Croke Park on this Saturday, December 15 th .   The system, to honour players who participated in the Rackard Cup, sees the champions Roscommon given three representatives on the ‘Champion 15’, the runners-up two and each of the other participating counties with one player honoured.   The three Roscommon players honoured are captain Mervyn Connaughton, who also captained Athleague to retain their Roscommon senior hurling championship, Liam Murray of St. Dominics and Michael Kelly of Four Roads who captained the Roscommon U-21 team to win the All-Ireland B title this year too.    The full Nicky Rackard selection for 2007 is: Mervyn Connaughton, Liam Murray, Michael Kelly (all Roscommon), Barney McCann, Christopher McAlinden (Armagh), Fergus Hayes (Sligo), Justin Kelly (Tyrone), Clement Cunniffe (Leitrim), Brendan Stakem (Longford), Ger O’Dwyer (Donegal), Paul McManus (Fermanagh), Pat O’Connell (Monaghan), Mark Lyons (Warwickshire) Daithí Neary (Cavan) and Brian Hassett (Louth).  Clement Cunniffe of Leitrim wins his 2 nd award, having been honoured previously, in 2005.   Champions Westmeath top the list of recipients in the Christy Ring Champion 15 with Derek McNicholas, Patrick Clarke and Paddy Dowdall all being honoured. Defeated finalists Kildare and semi-finalists Meath and Carlow will each have two players honoured.    Under the selection format, the champions have three players honoured with two players from the beaten finalists and semi-finalists also being recognised in addition to one player from each of the other participating counties.  The players to be honoured as the Christy Ring Champion 15 for 2007 are: Patrick Clarke, Paddy Dowdall, Derek Mac Nicholas (all Westmeath), David Kennedy, Billy White (Kildare), Enda Keogh, Stephen Clynch (Meath), Andrew Gaul, Edward Coady (Carlow), Shane Brick (Kerry), Stephen Broderick (Mayo), Graham Clarke (Down), Don Hyland (Wicklow), Keith Kennedy (London), Michael Conway (Derry)  Michael Conway (Derry) receives a Ring Cup Award in 2007 having been honoured as part of the Rackard Champion 15 in 2006.